Location: Home
Date: 2022-04-05
Time: 9:15 PM ADT
Instrument: 10" Meade SCT, 40 mm Plössl
Magnification: x63
Transparency: Excellent (1)
Seeing: Excellent (1)
Temperature: 5º C
SQM: 19.52
No wind or clouds.

Constellation:  Auriga
Magnitude: 6.4
Distance: 4.2 kly
Size: 21'

It's a very open but faint and diffuse cluster. I could see how it got its name while looking through the eyepiece (with a bit of imagination) but it did look more like a cross. I don't think my sketch captured the starfish appearance. To my eyes, it looked like a cross on its side. I had slewed northerly of M36 to find M38.

I had observed M38 almost 4 years ago at SCO - a night of discovery!

Date: 2018-05-18
Time: 10:28 PM ADT

Instrument: 10x42 IS Binoculars
Magnification: x10 + x83
Transparency: Good (3)
Seeing: Good (3)
Temperature: 9º C
No clouds. Hazy near the horizon.

Having found M36 a few moments ago, I moved my binocs just a little towards the north (~ 1 FOV). M38 was very faint in the binoculars so tried the SCT - success! Still a bit faint and diffuse in the eyepiece but I could see 4 definitive bright stars. There rest of the star field was diffuse; perhaps because of the haziness closer to the horizon, the "cross" structure I had read about wasn't visible.

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